Summer months for the Christian Action League of North Carolina can be fiscally challenging. It’s the period when contributions are the lowest.
As the League’s executive director, it’s my responsibility to find the needed funds, which precipitates making some phone calls to individuals and churches for help.
Recently, I contacted a church that had once supported the Christian Action League, but had reassessed their missions giving and stopped. They were under new leadership now, and their missions’ director said the League “doesn’t fit their vision.”
I knew what that expression meant. “Doesn’t fit their vision,” was just a nice way of saying, “As a church, we intend to stay away from politics. We don’t share your conviction that we should engage every aspect of the culture and shape it for righteousness sake.” As I see it, this is a sad response, because churches unwilling to bring the terms of God’s Word to bear on the great issues of our time are actually being quite short-sighted in their vision.
The gospel and Christian discipleship are much wider in scope than trying to get people into heaven and filling church pews. The gospel is about redemption for the whole man, and it stretches into every realm of life in which humanity operates.
In earlier generations, Christians in America understood this. Allow me to share a lengthy excerpt from what is now a book long out of print, The Gospel and the American Dream, written by Bruce L. Shelley. Shelley writes:
“In 1835, a generation before the Civil War, the well-known New England minister, Lyman Beecher preached one of his more popular sermons. He called it ‘A Plea for the West.’ The oration reveals Beecher’s deep-seated belief that a vast new empire was opening in the American wilderness. Nothing less than a whole culture was at stake. Christians should seize the opportunity, he said, and shape ‘the religious and political destiny of the nation.’
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Rev. Mark H. Creech